From the President … in October

I’m very excited to see that the new schedule is out – and to hear about the various club trips people have been going on, and signing up for. A massive thanks to Matt Conway for getting the schedule together so quickly and virtually while also managing a range of other things as Chief Guide!

It’s also great for the Lodge to be open with the return to Covid-19 alert level 1. It’s been a truly massive team effort – and again so many thanks – to all those on the Lodge Sub-Committee, the Bookings Officer, Lodge Leaders, those helping with the food, maintenance and a whole lot more.

A few people have already provided really helpful feedback regarding what the club should do (or not do) if Wellington returns to alert level 2. We would really value your views – feel free to email me confidentially ( ). After a lot of discussion, the Committee has decided that if there is a return to alert level 2, overnight club trips will be able to run. However, there will some specific conditions to minimise risks to help keep everyone safe, details to be provided at the time.  Decisions about opening (or not) the Lodge at alert level 2 are still to be made.

We’re also keen to see what members’ views are about the club journal. Do you want this, and if so, in what format? We will also need an editor if there’s interest. Email me your views and if you’re willing to help as editor. A huge thanks to Tony Gazley for all his extensive work on the journals in the last few years including editing and encouraging submissions, not to mention his stunning photos!

Your Committee sees this as a time of not only challenge but opportunity for the club. The rescheduled Mountain Film Festival WTMC co-hosted with VUW was a great success. Again thanks to all the work from Megan Sety and Vic Uni for months of behind the scenes plus many volunteers on the days! The Festival raised more funds for the WTMC Scholarship Programme. The scholarships are aimed to help our members gain experience and skills to further their tramping adventures. Club members for at least 12 months with current membership are encouraged to apply.

Recent overnight trip to WTMC’s Paua hut, Remutak Forest Park (Photo credit: Amanda Jones)

The challenges of Covid-19 have made us realise we need to adapt more to reflect our current environment and members. We are moving to an opt-in mailout for the FMC Backcountry magazine. This follows requests by some members to not receive a paper copy and to reduce waste, and also supports our commitment to be environmentally responsible. Details will be with the next mailout you receive. This change only affects the magazine – you will still continue to receive your FMC card in the mail as in the past.

We are also interested in live-streaming or videoing some club talks but again we need a volunteer or two.

It’s been a mixed month. Many of you will have heard about the sad passing of one our members, Emma Langley, at Ruapehu last month. Our deepest sympathies are with her family and friends. Emma’s family have set up a private page to share photos, stories and memories. Please contact me if you want details. They have also asked that in lieu of flowers, people to donate to New Zealand Land and Search Rescue (LandSAR).

Emma loved the mountains and sea, and her vibrant, warm, funny and generous spirit reminds me of why I’m in the club.  This tragic event is an apt time to reflect and honour all those we have lost in the outdoors, doing what and being where they loved, and how as a community we have learned and grown. It’s also important to remember all those other people in our community impacted by this tragic incident. I encourage everyone to look after yourselves and each other, and be brave enough to seek support if needed.

On a more positive note, the highlight for my month has been hearing about various recent club trips and photos. I’m really looking forward to the trip reports (check out the newsletter)! Below are a few taster photos from some recent trips to get you inspired. Just in case seeing this is starting to give you FOMO, there’s still plenty more trips on the current trip schedule.

Stay safe and well – hope to see you on a trip, the Lodge or the club soon,

Maj-Britt

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Jamie and Aimee at Cow Creek Hut.

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